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Ford Capri Perana

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Ford Capri

Ford Capri Perana

1970 - 1973
South Africa
8 Cylinder
4949 cc
281bhp @ 5800rpm
4 Speed Manual
Top Speed:
231 km/h
Number Built:
500 approx.
5 star
Ford Capri Perana
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 5


The name ‘Perana’ coined by Basil Green Motors, of Johannesburg for its engine transplant conversions on popular Ford models has come to be synonymous with “performance", both on road and track.

Basil Green manufacturing and tuning establishment came up with a Ford Capri 3000 XL with five litres of tuned Mustang V8 power to give it unchallenged "go" and performance.

Imagine a smooth handling, quiet-running and low slung car that will sprint evenly from 20 km/h (idling speed) to 200 km/h in top gear. A car that will accelerate with ease from 0-100 km/h inside 7 seconds, and which has a 50 percent reserve of power at 150 km/h. It sounded unbelievable!

An optimum start from rest produces two jagged black streaks behind the car as the limited slip differential took effect. As the wheels start to bite properly it surged to 100kmh, (in second gear), in 6.7 sec, and to 120kmh is 9.3 sec, with a maximum speed potential of 228.4 km/h.

In terms of familiar Imperial measures, it did the 0-60 mph run in 6.1 sec, and tops 142 mph in a straight line. Fuel economy is surprisingly good - very close to that of the Capri 3000 at cruising speeds and top gear power is out of this world.

Between 1970 and 1973 Basil Green was authorised by Ford (South Africa) Product Engineering to produce a modified version of the 3000XL Capri. He had already produced a tweaked MkII Cortina which was supplied with a V6 engine, so it was a natural progression for him to produce a modified Capri.

A 302 Mustang V8 (5 litre) was swapped for the Essex V6 and was fitted with a Motorsport camshaft, solid lifters and four-barrel Holley 460 CFM carburettor. This engine was capable of over 280 BHP, but was detuned to around 240 BHP for the production car, with ride height lowered by 50mm and the body shell strengthened to take the huge torque supplied by the Mustang engine.

The key to fitting the V8 engine into the Capri was in the modification of the steering, and for this purpose, a special rack was made to Basil Green specification which mounted behind the engine. Brakes were standard, with harder pads for the front discs, and suspension is lowered 1 ½ inches all round, with stronger coils to compensate for the small increase in weight.

This increase was kept to 9 kg by using the Boss aluminium bell housing for the clutch and aluminium inlet manifold. Other special equipment includes large capacity radiator built to Basil Green specification. An exhaust system to Basil Green specification, and a special tailshaft. The resulting car was a balanced and well geared vehicle.

Although the original production run was for 800 'Perana' Capri's, it is estimated that only 500 actually left the factory. The name Perana was a deliberate misspelling of the fish Pirana/Piranha.

The Perana was the only Capri officially supplied with a V8 engine, and as such was perfect for racing. The 500 or so cars produced meant that homologation was not a problem, and the Perana was raced in South Africa under the name Z181. Basil Green himself won the South African Championship three times, but unfortunately the Z181 was banned from competing after 1970 as it had won all but one of the races that year.

The first Production V8 Capri’s in the world were produced at a rate of 30 a month in a factory near Johannesburg. Four completed Capri Perana's stand behind the assembly line.

V8 Perana Specification:

  • The Perana Capri 1970 - 1973 Engine 8-Cyl. Vee formation at 90 degrees
  • Crankshaft: Five main bearings
  • Bore x Stroke: 101.6mm x 76.2 (4.00in x 3.00in)
  • Capacity: 4949cc (302 cubic inch)
  • Valves: Overhead
  • Compression Ratio: 9.3:1
  • Fuel System: Single four-barrel Holley 460 CFM carburettor
  • Maximum Power: 281bhp at 5800rpm
  • Maximum Torque: 300 lb ft (43.1kgm) at 3500rpm
  • Transmission: Four speed manual gearbox.
  • Differential: Borg Warner limited slip differential
  • Gear Ratios: 4th 1.00, 3rd 1.29, 2nd 1.69, 1st 2.32, Reverse 3.35
  • Final Drive: 3.080
  • Top Gear Speed: 33.0mph (35.4kmh) per 1000rpm
  • Brakes: Standard servo, front disc / rear drum
  • Wheels / Tyres: 5x13 Rostyle wheels and 185/70 13 radial-ply tyres
  • Length: 167.8in (4262mm)
  • Wheelbase: 100.8in (2559mm)
  • Width: 64.8in (1646mm)
  • Height: 50.2in (1275mm)
  • Front Track: 53in (1346mm)
  • Rear Track: 52in (1321mm)
  • Unladen Weight: 2352lb (1067kg)
  • Top Speed: 143 mph (231kmh)
  • 0-60mph: 6.1 seconds
  • Visitor Rating:

    Reader Reviews page 1 of 1
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    Andrew stuart
    Posted 37 days ago
    Was the ford capri v8 5lt ever homologated. 1970-1972
    Can t find any info any where.
    Would appreciate.
    Posted 726 days ago
    Great article, my father was the head mechanic at Basil Green Motors and did most of the conversions. My brother still owns my dad's Capri in South Africa. My father pasted away 18 yrs ago, he died of a heart attack while driving his Capri. He had the standard model. He loved his car.
    Posted 1040 days ago
    Hi, Great car...I have a 1974 3L Capri, in stunning condition fully restored...Looking to sell...Contact 082 415 7091. Living in S.A.
    Posted 1424 days ago
    Keep seeing this silver 3L blacktop, bidingmy time for that v8 conversion with Jag rear axle & lovely autobox.
    Posted 1450 days ago
    we own a 69 capri,busy slipping a Lexus V8 into it,great looking cars
    Posted 1480 days ago
    Hey dudes, I am busy restoring a '72 1.6 GT Capri,lookin' for spares specially front windscreen(broke when car was being stripped :(
    Also own a 72 fairmont gt 351 4v...... what great cars!!! 0794937674. i am in SA.
    Posted 1512 days ago
    I have 1977 mk3 with 350 and go to putt inn a 440 big block .this is a funnyest car i ever had...i had this car for 11 year and not for sale..:)
    Posted 1531 days ago
    I had a 72 as a kid, baught a 76 and plan to make it a Basil Green replica, i have a 302 Cobra motor that is feul injected that i wan to put in it. Anyone with info on the steering? rconradie@msn *** . Thanks and happy motoring
    Posted 1634 days ago
    have a 74 capri with 84 k us and thinking about tuening in ti the v-8 car for fun.
    Max Midgley
    Posted 1874 days ago
    Bought a v6 gt in 1970 Had it for 11 years and done 100000 miles in it. Nothing spent on repairs, only maintenance. Just started to restore another one. this will be a 302 windsor. I'm 61 now and love em more than ever.
    peter pringle
    Posted 2128 days ago
    Owned one for 2 years. It was more fun than a barrell of monkeys.
    peter pringle
    Posted 2128 days ago
    Owned one for 2 years. It was more fun than a barrell of monkeys.
    Wing nut
    Posted 2129 days ago
    Keep the shape.......modernise and bring it back to life!
    Posted 2215 days ago
    awsome car
    Posted 2649 days ago
    All Ford V-8 engines have 90 degree blocks, not 60 degree blocks.
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